VISA has signed an endorsement deal with Michael Sam, who could make history to become the first active openly gay player in the National Football League. It's the first endorsement deal for the superstar defensive lineman of the University of Missouri.
The 43 second spot will be featured on VISA's online campaigns. Watch it AFTER THE JUMP ...
The SEC Defensive Player of the Year is seen working out. A voiceover urges the viewer to judge him "for running a 4.91 at the Combine" or "a blown tackle on the outside rush"—and not for what he does off the field.
"We felt that Michael’s story was a perfect fit for our ‘everywhere’ campaign, which is meant to inspire people to reach their own personal goals and aspirations," Visa’s chief marketing officer, Kevin Burke, told ESPN.com. "We wish Michael the best on and off the field as he embarks on the next chapter of his life."
Michael Sam has also been awarded the prestigious Arthur Ashe. Sam will receive "the award given to individuals who transcend sports" at the 2014 ESPYS on July 16. The award is presented by ESPN.
Sam made history last February when he became the first Division I college football player to come out as gay. The 6-foot-2 player is the 2013 SEC Defensive Player of the Year, was named a first-team all-American and was voted Missouri's most valuable player.
The NFL Draft began yesterday and continues through Saturday. Sam has not been selected so far but could become a late draft pick tomorrow. Sam could also become an undrafted free agent in the coming days. Watch the new spot AFTER THE JUMP ...